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National Migraine Centre
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Try Botox or not to try Botox that is the question

I have recently posted about my positive experience with Cymbalta.

I am an aesthetic nurse so I have easy access to Botox treatments. It is my experience that Botox actually caused in increase in migraine for me particularly in the 2 or 3 weeks after treatment that do not respond to my first dose of Zomig spray. I now avoid the treatment. So please don't get too excited about the promise of botox

11 Replies

thats very interesting to read of your botox experience! i havent tried it yet but we are all waiting with baited breath to see what the criteria will be for getting botox in september.

it would be sooo much easier for everyone if one treatment suited us all but sadly we just have to plough through them till we find one that does work.

good luck!


95%+ of each month is made up of migraines for me - I wish I'd had the opportunity to try botox as nothing else has been helpful so far.

As Rosianna says there is no one fix for everyone, each migraine is unique to the individual in terms of experience and effective management/treatment. Enough of a percentage of users have clearly benefited from botox otherwise NICE would not be allowing it on the list. It is simply another option when most of the other options have been exhausted, possibly after at least a year of so of trying other drugs (many of which are known not to be very effective in a high percentage of cases), if not longer.


Please don't think I would wish to deny any migrainer any chance of relief! My post was not intended to suggest that.

Ps there are practitioners out there who administer Botox for lines and wrinkles, please be aware that the method of administration and sites are not the same. Migraine treatment requires multiple scalp injections for example.

Just because a nurse or doctor are trained to administer Botox does not mean they are specialised in treating migraine. So don't part with your hard earned cash unless you know that they are knowledgable in treating migraine.

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Hi. I took part in the medical trials for Botox and have continued with the injections now that the trial has finished.

I initially signed up for the trial, as I had truly exhausted all other treatments both medically and homeopathic/natural ones. I've had quite a few experiences along the way, after over 40 years of suffering!

Botox, is the only thing that has helped. I would recommend it. For me, it has lessened my attacks a little but the pain is now so less intense. On my chart that I score my migraines on, I now usually score 1 or 2, before they were always 9 0r 10. I have also, only been sick once since having the Botox in probably 6 years now. Before, I was nearly always sick.

If anybody is anxious about having the treatment, then I am happy to answer any questions anybody may have about it, as best I can.


hi there, i know your post is from last year but after having my first lot of botox with not great results i thought i,d see what other people had said. i had it done 17 days ago and have gained a droppy eyelid and puffy eye but every day have had a headache or migraine and also have a persistant stiff neck at the base of the head. how long was it before you notice any positive results? did you have to have the botox a few times before you had that big reduction from 10 to 1 . after trying so many things like yourself i really had high hopes for botox but so far there has been no change. thanks for any advice


Hi. I got Botox 3 weeks ago. So far no change. And a lot of stiffness and pain in muscles.

He said 2/3 weeks. Can it still work.


hi there. did you ever have the botox again? if so what were the results? i,m currently waiting for the botox to do something! i had it 17 days ago and suffering every day with pain


As well as migraine I suffer from chronic pain around my shoulder and face areas. Since having botox every 4 months in an NHS pain clinic ( initially 2 years ago) for the pain, my migraines have improved considerably. The headaches are a lot less intense and of shorter duration, sometimes they go before I manage to take any medication. That said, I still get the auras and as I also get migraines without headache on a regular basis, the botox doesn't seem to have any effect on that. For some reason I still get the odd almighty, dreadful full-blown migraine but not as many as before.

It seems to depend on how I am at the time of the injections as to how quickly things improve. If the overall pain has flared up, then having the trigger points for the pain poked with needles makes things worse, and as pain seems to set off my migraines, it can be a tricky 2 - 3 weeks. But if I have the injections when the pain is quiet, I don't seem to suffer at all.

The other thing is that if I'm in pain on injection day I tend to suffer from severe tiredness on the way home from the hospital, which can last a couple of days & be difficult with work and family. I've also had sore throats and flu-like symptoms, but only twice. Other times I feel fine afterwards. I know when the botox is taking effect because my eyelids start to feel heavy as the forehead muscles relax.

It's taken a bit of trial and error to find the best spots to inject it and because I have some of it in my shoulder as well it's probably not given in the same places as most other migraine sufferers have it.

Having tried numerous medications for pain - some of which are also prescribed for migraine - and alternative treatments, botox is the only thing that seems to make any major difference, although I've had to make an effort to manage myself better as well. I really didn't want to try botox and was very sceptical at first but I'm glad I'm on it now.

My only gripe is people who tell me I'm lucky and "ooh well, wouldn't everyone like some free botox to get rid of their wrinkles", etc. etc. I know exactly how lucky I am, and if I didn't have to have it I wouldn't, so why do these idiots make me feel so guilty?

Sorry this is so long - just wanted people to know that it might not have any immediate effects, so don't give up hope straight away.


i have my first treatment nxt week after reading all the comments pros and cons im strugeling on wat to do now as i suffer with migraines to the point im having strokes with them i hope everyone finds the right cure for them wishing ya all well


Hi, my neurologist has recommended Botox for me, but does not provide this service in their hospital. He's referred me to another hospital but have just found out the do not provide Botox got migraine. Can anyone help with suggesting where I can be referred to for Botox on the nhs?


I wasn't referred through my neurologist but through the pain clinic at my local hospital. I asked my GP about it and asked to be referred to the pain clinic ( where they routinely give Botox to people for back pain, those who have had strokes etc). I was the first person the doc had done for migraine and he had to refer to a chart to show him where to inject, which didn't fill me with confidence. I had mine four weeks ago and had a 'mild' migraine about four days later and a more painful two-day one two weeks later. I've not had a migraine for two weeks, which is a bit of a miracle. Can't say I feel 'well' yet though as I often feel headachy but it doesn't seem to develop. Prior to this I was getting migraine every three to four days, with aura and without, and had been through all the usual drugs with no success. By the way, after referral to the pain clinic I didn't instantly get Botox. I had to have six weeks of accupuncture first, which was totally useless, so you may find you have to try other methods of pain relief first.


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